Are you Ready to Buy a Second Home in Jackson Hole?

Deirdre Griffith  |  November 20, 2022

Are you Ready to Buy a Second Home in Jackson Hole?

Until recently, Jackson Hole has flown under the radar as a vacation destination. In recent years, publicity as well as the draw of a more rural lifestyle has made our town among the top places to have a primary or second home. We’re located within driving distance of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks and a wealth of skiing, snowboarding, hiking, fly fishing, and horseback riding opportunities abound. Jackson is the quintessential paradise for the outdoor lover. Consult the following checklist to find out if you are ready to invest in a second home in Jackson Hole.

1. Vacation vs. Investment Property

You must first determine whether you want to use it as an income-producing rental property or a vacation home, as it can have a bearing on the legal implications. For example, buying an investment property with the intent to use it as a short-term rental has legal implications that must be followed. I can help you find out if your property lays within the Short Term renal overlay the Town and County have imposed. You also must obtain a short-term rental license and submit the appropriate fire system inspection report as a short-term rental owner.

Whether you use it as a secondary home for the holidays or an investment property, consider hiring a property management company that can take care of your second property's regular maintenance and upkeep. If you are planning on only residing there during the summer holidays, the property management company can take care of your home during the off-season and hard winters here.  The property management company will also manage rentals and liaise with renters to ensure the process goes smoothly. Ultimately knowing what you will use your second property for can help you make the necessary preparations.

2. Consider financing

When adding on another property, you need to consider the financing. Work with your financial advisor to determine the logistics of adding a second home to your investment portfolio. From planning your expected mortgage payments to the amount of equity you have, you need to determine how much you can pay for your second home. Whether you pay with cash, apply for financing, or use a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC), you need to know what options are available in paying for your second home in Jackson Hole. Once you determine how much you can spend, you and your real estate agent can start searching for a second home that aligns with all of your must-haves.

3. Think long term

When considering if a second home is right for you, always think long term. When looking at homes for sale in Jackson Hole, consider how you feel about the location now and how you might feel in ten or thirty years. Staying in Jackson Hole for a few seasons can feel like an exciting and thrilling adventure as you ski down slopes, see wildlife in the parks, and check out the shops and eateries in town. However, would you still be filled with the same excitement after a few years? As you look at prospective homes in Jackson Hole, consider where they are located and their proximity to amenities, attractions, and conveniences. Most importantly, consider how you would feel about them in the future.

4. Consider property insurance

You’ve worked hard to buy your second home. That is why you need to protect your real estate investment. Some insurance companies will not allow two homes under the same policy, so you must purchase a separate policy for your vacation property. Insurance premiums for vacation homes tend to be higher as many of these homes are unoccupied, and there is a greater likelihood of owners filing more insurance claims. Find property insurance that can protect your real estate investment from fire damage, lightning, windstorms, and hail. By getting the appropriate coverage, you can ensure the longevity of your Jackson real estate investment.

5. Consider taxes

As a homeowner in Jackson Hole, WY, you will enjoy several tax benefits. Wyoming is the state with the fourth lowest property tax rate. You would also be exempt from paying any taxes on purchasing your vacation property. However, consult your tax professional to determine what you would and would not have to pay as a second homeowner in Wyoming.

6. Potential to appreciate

While considering the value of Jackson homes for sale today, you also need to look toward the future. While your second property might be appreciating steadily today, it is possible that the economic climate could affect your home’s potential to appreciate. You also want to consider what renovations and repairs you can do, such as adding an extra room, replacing the garage door, or installing energy-efficient kitchen appliances. The more flexibility you have to renovate, the more value you will gain from your real estate investment in the future.

7. Work with a qualified Jackson real estate agent

Every home purchase is different whether you are buying a second home or a fifth investment property. That is why it can help to work with an expert who knows the real estate market in Jackson. Your qualified real estate agent can guide you on everything from finding the right neighborhood and home that aligns with all of your must-haves to having the proper legal and financing documents. Your realtor can also analyze the local market to find a second home that not only matches your must-haves but can bring the maximum return on investment. Your Jackson realtor can make the entire real estate transaction painless and stress-free.

Interested in buying an investment property in Jackson Hole? Consult Jackson real estate agent Deirdre Griffith who can provide expert guidance from local neighborhoods to the current real estate market. Thanks to her in-depth experience in real estate, Deirdre can help you find the perfect income-producing property or vacation home!

Deirdre Griffith

About the Author

Deirdre Griffith

Deirdre Griffith has called the Mountain West home for over 15 years and enjoys all it has to offer. As a real estate investor herself, Deirdre diligently tracks local residential markets, financial markets, as well as a broad range of ranches and outfits. 

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